We'd like to explain the structural challenges we face as a charter school in Oregon by walking through how our budget works. From there, we hope you'll see how, as a community, we can come together to ensure the continued success and long term sustainability of SIS.
What does this mean for our staff?
Due to the 80% funding mechanism, SIS does our best to stay competitive in salary and benefits, however, the fact remains that our salary scale is based on 95% of our sponsoring district. Adding to that challenge, more than half of our staff live in Washington and Multnomah counties, where typical wages can be over 20% higher than ours, as is the case in Portland Public Schools. This difference matters! We also wish to invest more heavily in curriculum development through trainings and other supports.
In fall 2023, the SIS Board and Executive Director approved the creation of a staff retention fund, leveraging higher interest rates and other unstable income sources. This pilot program rewards time of service at SIS with an annual bonus, attempting to bridge some of the pay gap for longer tenured staff. The instability of this income means that the program will need to be reviewed and (hopefully) renewed every two years.
In addition to comparable wages, we expect the cost of facilities maintenance to increase dramatically. Our dear facilities manager is retiring at the end of this year. Finding a suitable replacement will be challenging, and no matter what, it will take time for a replacement to operate our site as efficiently.